Manners: Pictures

Millennials hate getting their pictures taken.  I know this isn’t 100% true but the number of my peers who say “I hate getting pictures taken of myself” seems to vastly outnumber those who get excited (or hell even tolerate it). I have no idea if there are actual statistics on this.  I know I get to see all kinds of articles about narcissistic millennials obsessed with selfies.  But 1 person taking 10,000 selfies is not the same as all 80 million millennials taking them “all the time.”  If all millennials were really that narcissistic it would be even worse.  Really.  People were obsessed with their own image hundreds of years before my generation. Anywho.  Back to my point about “most millennials” hating getting their pictures taken.  I have decided this is because of poor manners.  Not bad manners, but certainly not good manners either. I realized sometime between high school and college that the picture wasn’t about me.  Even when I was the only person in

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Manners: Meritocracy is Bullshit

So I had someone ask me to write about this – it wasn’t something I had directly run into, but the minute I googled it I went “Ah, yeah.  I’ve heard this argument in other versions” The reason I put this as a “Manners” post is simple.  If you aren’t addressing your own imperfections/biases/etc. you are allowing yourself to be shallow and cruel – even if it’s unintentional, it’s rude.  It’s poor social skills. You may not realize you are being hurtful – but if I swing my elbow and break someone’s nose accidentally – my intention isn’t what mattered.  I apologize profusely, I grab gauze & tissues to stanch the bleeding.  I get a damn ice pack and try to be more careful I’m spinning in place.  I learn from the effect and I don’t shrug it off with “well that wasn’t my intent so suck it up and grow a thicker nose.” Ok, so hopefully you’ll buy into “ok, intent

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Manners: April Fools

I HATE this “holiday.” So let’s define what makes April Fools a thing.  (A) Pranks and (B) LIES. When people talk to me about it, I tend to say April Fools is the day in which we glorify bullies.  Because let’s be clear here; pranks and lies are a breeding ground for bullies and abusers.  So even if you are just being funny; you are giving permission for that person/those people for whom something like “empathy” is a bad word… well, all you’re doing is telling them this kind of behavior actually is acceptable. Yes, I am arguing that just like telling rape jokes informs rapists that other people think their actions are (ever) acceptable; your April Fools actions tells bullies & abusers that what they do every day must have some kind social acceptability. There are exceptions.  Google has generally been good at April Fools; saying they were going to use toilets/sewer systems to get internet to people; scratch & sniff searching;

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Manners: Fault Vs. Resposibility

This first came up in an article I read about Millennials having to take on responsibilities for things like global warming – and it’s not our fault.  The economy being in turmoil – and it’s not our fault. But if the last Millennials were born ~1997, they are now 21 years old.  They are voting, and drinking – a majority (the 1981-1992 set) can rent cars. They can run for every office in the land (ok, so only like 2-3 years worth could run for President this year, but we have another 2 years and then…. well someone born in 1985 would be eligible for President, that is well within the range of Millennial age). We are now a generation of adults. We are responsible. We might not have caused the collapse of infrastructure. We may not have de-funded our education system.  We didn’t cause the crash of the housing market in 2007/2008…. but we are going to have to be responsible

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Manners: Decisions

We have all had this conversation at some point in our lives: Person A: I’m hungry. Lets eat. Person B: Oh yeah. Where do you want to go? Person A: I’m so hungry, I don’t care. Person B: Ok. How about [This place] Person A: Oh no, not [This place] I don’t feel like [their food] Person B: Alright, where do you want to go? Person A: I don’t really care. How many of you knew by the third line where this conversation was going?  How many felt their butt clench with internal rage because we have been Person B too often in our lives? So skipping over some of the fun conversations about healthy communication, boundaries and emotional labor here… let’s get right to the meat. Person A doesn’t want to have to make a decision but they want a vote in the decision that’s made. This is terrible manners. For the folks in the back: This is TERRIBLE manners. The

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Manners: When Winners Lose

One of the reasons I do not particularly like competitive sports is “winners.” A turn of a foot, a play that is only successful one in eight times can win or lose a game. Yes, there is skill. And there is “will” to be the best. These help – but usually (not always, but all-to-often) when you come to things like “championships” they are (or should be!) close on skill and will. The best games are the ones where everyone is guessing who will win. They are fun to watch. They are tense to play. The players who walk away from those games are disappointed. Man do I get that… that is an awful feeling. And the winners are elated. Who wouldn’t be? Especially for those massive games where it was close and no one knows who will walk out victorious. You see, there are the winners who rub it in. They wear their badges of honor and wins and tell everyone how amazing they are. Their

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Manners: Kindergarten

You know that phrase “everything you need to know about life can be learned….” I’m a big fan of the answer “kindergarten” Are you lonely and in need of a smile? Try sitting in a field of flowers and imagine the singing flowers from Alice in Wonderland (old Disney, not new Disney). Or coloring. Or asking for a hug. If you see someone crying, go and sit beside them, hold their hand. You don’t have to say anything – just be there. Are you nervous at a conference? Find your buddy!  Best plan – have a buddy before you show up and make sure you find your buddy! Your buddy will help you be safe. Did you learn in Kindergarten NOT to cut in line? Next time you’re driving and you see a line of cars… Are you in a public restroom?  Guess what – just like you were taught at school, you need to check and MAKE SURE you

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Manners: NotAllMen

I can’t believe this is still a thing. I can’t believe there are still so damn many men who can’t get why #NotAllMen IS a problem. Here’s the thing, women know not every man is dangerous. Women know that not every man is a rapist (intentionally or not is different post). Women know that there are some men who are our supporters, friends, advocates, and sometimes – yes we sometimes want this – our defenders.  I know I’ve explained what I call the Goethe spectrum when we meet strangers; but I think it’s really even easier to understand. So a man sees a woman walking down the street and smiles at her and says hello. The woman must make an instantaneous decision whether she is safe or not (Seriously, go read the Goethe link if you haven’t yet).  She might get it wrong. She might just be feeling anxious and this poor guy pings higher on the scale than he should.

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Manners: Is “if” a bad word?

This occurred to me only recently, but it is too true: If you have to use “if” to qualify something, it’s probably bad. IF gets used to cover up an insult or negative feedback instead of just having the spine to stand up to your own comment. Look at these examples: If this had more salt, it would be delicious! (wait, so it’s not good?) If you got contacts, we could see your pretty face. (wait, so glasses somehow “hide” facial features?) If that shirt was just cut a little differently… (so it looks bad. I get it) If we go to that restaurant, we might miss the movie (so the movie is your priority.) If you want the blue one, get the blue one (why won’t you just tell me which one you recommend? I asked you!) Even when it is referencing something good “If we buy this house, we can start our family” or “If we go on vacation,

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Review: Rating System(s)

Netflix relatively recently changed from a 5-star rating skill to “thumbs up” and “thumbs down.”  I hate it. And yes, I do mean “active dislike and will try to get this changed somehow” level of negative emotion. I can’t stand polar rating systems. I know, this is a level of nerd – hating something so inane as a rating system, but let me break it down a little bit. This is how I rate using 5-stars: I hated this (probably didn’t even finish it). Never show me anything like this again. I dragged myself through it, but I will never willingly watch it again. It was Ok. It probably kept me entertained enough in my current mood – I might watch something like this again, but THIS was probably a one-time-watch. I enjoyed this. I think other friends of mine with similar taste would also like this. OMG. Everyone should watch this movie. And watch it again. I don’t know if

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